Our Superintendent

MaryEllen Gorodetzer, Ed.D.

Under the leadership of Superintendent Dr. MaryEllen Gorodetzer, Colonial School District, its staff and its students have received many accolades – including high rankings in Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report and The Washington Post, as well as two National Blue Ribbon School awards from the United States Department of Education – and serve as models for excellence regionally and nationally.

Dr. Gorodetzer was the recipient of the 2016 Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA) Award for Instructional Leadership. The award is presented annually to a school system leader who demonstrates a commitment to excellence in teaching and learning by developing, nurturing and supporting exemplary programs that support the academic achievement of particular student populations, enrich student learning in a particular content area, or implement strategies to enhance student learning across the curriculum.

Her philosophy for success includes a dedication to continuous improvement and the establishment of a supportive environment based on the theme of Collaboration, Innovation and Inspiration.

Dr. Gorodetzer’s vision has led to several innovative initiatives in Colonial, including:

  • A District-wide STEAM culture that encourages Project-Based Learning and real-world connections in all subject areas – as well as builds a strong foundation in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics – for all students K-12.
  • Unique block scheduling at Colonial Middle School and Plymouth Whitemarsh High School that offers in-depth lessons and more time for thoughtful discourse, STEAM activities and a greater degree of differentiation – in addition to more flexibility and student choice in course selection.
  • A strong and relevant curriculum, based on state and national standards and supported by the latest technology, that also includes The Four Cs (Creativity, Critical Thinking, Collaboration and Communication) and prepares students for the challenges of college and the workplace.
  • A nationally recognized data-driven approach to instruction that allows teachers to measure student performance, customize curriculum to meet the needs of individual students, narrow the achievement gap and collaborate more effectively during job-embedded Professional Learning Time.
  • Award-winning professional development programs and teacher leadership opportunities that take advantage of the talent in the District to help identify and facilitate continuous school improvements.

With Colonial expecting to see a steady increase in student enrollment throughout the next decade, Dr. Gorodetzer is proactively overseeing the expansion and renovation of Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, Plymouth Elementary School and Ridge Park Elementary School while ensuring that the changes also reflect innovative ways for students to work together and act on creative ideas. Even with significant construction costs, Dr. Gorodetzer’s prudent financial leadership has meant that Colonial remains among the most fiscally strong public school districts in the Philadelphia region.

Dr. Gorodetzer brings more than 30 years of service to public education to her role as Superintendent. Her career in the Colonial School District began in 1998 as principal of Ridge Park Elementary School, followed by more than ten years as Assistant Superintendent. Highlights of her accomplishments from that time include the design and implementation of a consistent K-12 curriculum, district-wide full-day kindergarten and remediation programs to help close the achievement gap, such as the nationally-recognized AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program at Colonial Middle School and Plymouth Whitemarsh High School. Dr. Gorodetzer received her doctorate from Widener University.

Colonial School District appoints next superintendent

The Colonial Board of School Directors unanimously voted to appoint Dr. Michael Christian as the District's next superintendent during its regularly scheduled public business meeting on Thursday, June 15.

"We are thrilled to welcome a superintendent with Dr. Christian's experience and background," said Board President Susan Moore. "He will be able to continue the great work of the district under Dr. MaryEllen Gorodetzer's leadership."

"Dr. Christian has served in many capacities in education," added Mrs. Moore. "His experiences as a teacher in the classroom, as an athletic director, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent will bring a valuable perspective on the complexities we face in education today. And, he will be able to draw upon that varied experience in a number of educational roles to inform and guide his decisions."

Dr. Christian will be replacing Dr. Gorodetzer, who is retiring at the end of the summer. Dr. Gorodetzer has been with the Colonial School District for 19 years. During this time, she served as an elementary school principal, district director of elementary education, assistant superintendent and superintendent.

"We are excited that we are gaining a proven leader in Dr. Christian" said Mrs. Moore. "However, we are also losing an outstanding educator who has been a member of the Colonial School District family for nearly two decades. Dr. Gorodetzer's leadership has created an outstanding educational system of which the entire Colonial community is proud.

"We are extremely grateful to Dr. Gorodetzer," Mrs. Moore continued. "She will be greatly missed."

Dr. Christian is currently the superintendent of schools in the Owen J. Roberts School District (OJRSD) in Chester County. He has served as superintendent at OJRSD since 2012. Prior to Owen J. Roberts, Dr. Christian served as the superintendent in the Garnet Valley School District in Glen Mills, Pa. He has additional administrative experience as an assistant superintendent and middle school principal during his thirteen years at Garnet Valley. Dr. Christian is a life-long resident of Montgomery County. He began his educational career in the Methacton School District teaching high school English.

"The Colonial School District is a premiere school district in the region and throughout the state," said Dr. Christian. "I'm honored to have the opportunity to work with the Board of School Directors to continue their good work as well as build upon the strong foundation that Dr. Gorodetzer and her administration worked so diligently to create."

Just the fifth superintendent in the Colonial School District in the last 40 years, Dr. Christian is no stranger to the area. He and his wife and children live in neighboring Methacton School District. An active member of the community, Dr. Christian volunteers as a youth coach for various sports for the Audubon Recreation Association and Freedom Valley YMCA. In the past, Dr. Christian also was a swimming instructor for children with disabilities, tutored students for PSATs and SATs and served as a Literacy Volunteer of America.

Dr. Christian earned a masters in education from Arcadia University, principal certification from Penn State University and a doctorate in educational leadership from Wilmington University.

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